106. Smiling dancers. (20th Sept 2015).
Though the two pieces paired up here were written a month apart they always felt like they belonged together.
It’s the bookending of the maternal life cycle and the journey from the joy of being the beaming proud parent aglow in the lightness of life, to the solitary figure that inhabits frail inevitable solitude. With fading light and curtains too heavy to draw to a proper close. The role of her child changes also as they see now through eyes that she once wore.
The exchange of roles, of being the senior partner in the relationship, passes from one generation to the next. While in the opposite direction flows the unstable, and second time around still unwelcome, but even harder to bear, heavy fingers of constricting dependency.
One seeing only their past, the other their future.
PS. The notes above might foreshadow things with a darkness. But that’s where I found myself in my thinking at the moment I was writing them. I only add this to ask the first piece below be given fair chance. It’s about light, hope and life and looking forward. And love, but then again their both about that. Smile always.
86. Smile always if you can son. (10 May 2015).
He pulled all the power he could muster,
From his four years of experience,
And staring at the camera,
To smile his way into eternity,
While the eyes that stared back,
On the other side of the lens,
From the future of his posterity
So longed to utter gentle advice,
To share the guidance time had given them,
“Don’t try so hard my son,
The smiling it should come easy,
It’s the crying in life that’s hard”,
But the maternal overrules the eternal,
And so his illusions chart their own course.
As she hoped the smiling always won.
Always the smiling,
Smile always if you can son.
72. My favourite dancers dying. (12 April 2015).
Where did she go to, the woman I loved,
Who quick stepped head and shoulders above me,
My boyhood began in her spring time,
But while in her summer I looked to leaving,
She used to tap-dance in the kitchen,
Long before I was fully grown,
It was maybe only a few steps,
But they were all joyfully her own,
Now she walks like new-born Bambi,
To the bathroom for a cigarette,
Even when she’s in her own house,
Especially when I’m there visiting,
The doors now open on my own Autumn,
And she’s worn famine thin by Winter,
While her stooping I want to be stopping,
I see her leading the way without knowing,
And my worries have been like flurries,
Next to her blizzards of maternal concern,
For she’d go snowblind for the love of us,
To shelter us from any hurt,
But I don’t know where this piece ends,
Well, actually I do,
And so do you,
But I’m not saying that out loud.
(c) Jim Laing 2015.